The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s executive board offered even more clarity Monday on a couple of items that have to do with the decision July 21 to shift the majority of its sports seasons to start in December because of the coronavirus pandemic.
One was for the period football coaches are allowed to have contact with players in the coaching window from Sept. 28-Nov. 30. The other was a clarification on the lower-risk sports of golf and tennis.
In the contact window situation, schools are allowed to have a total of 20 football practices during the summer period, with a total of 10 of them being in pads. However, the WIAA said that coaches basically can carryover over whatever practice time is not used in the summer to the two-month period encompassing fall.
An example would be if Clarkson or Asotin wanted to conduct seven practices during the summer, three of which would be in full gear. The coaching staffs of those schools then would have a total of 13 practices remaining during the September-November window, with seven of those allowed with pads on. In essence, there would be no resetting of the period and they just would have 20 practices spread out during the two times.
Football will be conducted in Season 3, with the first day of practice set for Feb. 17 and the season to end with state championships May 9.
One thing Asotin coach Jim Holman was hoping for during the coaching period and wanted more clarity on, but this doesn’t necessarily give that, is the possibility for scrimmage time, particularly in the new, 62-day window.
“I don’t see a situation where we’d use all 20, per se, but if we can get 10, 12 practices in (that would be great),” Holman told the Tribune after the WIAA made its original decision. “What I don’t know is, if the phase that we’re in, if the state of Washington and Gov. Inslee allows it, would we be able to scrimmage somebody like we would in the summer. If we can get pads on and we can scrimmage somebody and its safe and allowed and all of that, or if that’s going to be allowed.”
The other thing Holman acknowledged is scheduling time to get all of the practices in for all of the sports in that time window will be a bit of a challenge. He does have one advantage in that he can schedule baseball and football at his luxury since he is the coach of both teams.
But just getting the time is important.
“So it does excite me a lot that they’ve at least planned for us to have contact with our kids,” Holman said.
Golf and tennis teams originally were allowed extra competition, or alternate seasons — in Season 1 — with the WIAA conducting state championships during Season 4. But the organization decided to allow the two sports to also have an alternate season in Season 3, which runs from March 1-May 2 for all sports other than football. The reasoning is to avoid scheduling conflicts for schools that can’t compete in Season 1 because of possible concerns surrounding COVID-19.
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